Sunday, March 23, 2008

Tuesday 9th August 1938

Although a very backward member of “B” Recruits Class, I was put in “J” Section today as Acting Driver IC. My old job! Driving a Ford Eight. Snappy car. Went out after breakfast and onto the windy Downs. Swansborough was my Operator and I learnt a lot by watching him work the set. I enjoyed the unemotional voices of the operators.

“…Answer, SASI. Come through, SASI. Over” A few exchanges were not of a strictly military nature. “AAA Operators handicapped by lack of refreshment AR” we informed SASI by speech, of a nearby farm where milk could be obtained. We were less fortunate ourselves. Presently SASI communicated to the effect that operators had obtained milk and cake at the farmhouse and were just having a feast. Jealously, Swandborough tapped that a Don.R (despatch rider) had bought us four bottles of Brown Ale, which we were now drinking. Morse began to crackle. I watched Swansborough’s moving pencil:- “AAA You are a lying bugger. AR”

Moved to another site, following a Don R along winding tracks across hillsides until we came to Balsdean Farm, and re-established contact with SASI, some two miles further away. Lovely country.

Had a swim with Martin this evening and later, tea at Rottingdean in a decent café, just for the sake of contrast. Manoeuvres start tomorrow and I shall be away 48 hours. Ironical that tomorrow night happens to be the evening of all evenings when Mother and Father will call to see me. Telephone Hawthorn Court tonight, explaining what had happened and suggesting (without much hope) that they should trace my movements from Roedean.

Martin (just promoted to “A” Class, Recruits Section) is a tall very ungainly youth whose mouth seems to sag in bewilderment. Clever though. And somewhat amusing with words. Today in the Mess he groaned suddenly. “What’s the matter?” asked his neighbour. “Nothing” said Martin vaguely, “Just a little spasmodic belching”.


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